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New crowd insights for cities

Pilot projects in the North of Italy and one in the Netherlands will be completed by the end of 2017

Como in North Italy is one of the cities that features in the pilot programme
Como in North Italy is one of the cities that features in the pilot programme

EIT Digital innovation is giving give new insight into cities with its CrowdInsights tool, part of its latest Digital Cities Action Line Innovation Activity. It actively monitors urban environments detecting the composition, dynamics and movements of crowds and provides data to support decision-making for city planners and businesses.


Often, the work of city planners is hampered by data and processes that can be obsolete, resource intensive and error-prone. CrowdInsights provides a solution that integrates data collected from IoT sensors, mobile phones and social media to provide comprehensive, multi-scale views of urban dynamics such as how, when and where people move within a city.


With CrowdInsights, urban planners can plan pedestrian areas based on the actual volume and frequency of human movement. In addition, businesses and tourism operators can use the data to develop more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.


EIT claims the tool is innovative in that it provides comprehensive and cross-sourced data that includes both real-time and historical results adapted for citizens and for local decision makers and businesses:

  • For citizens: a mobile app will be developed that enables the connection of people with the city and offers personalised information, city loyalty cards, and digital coupons;
  • For urban planners: a web dashboard application will report and allow the exploration of data collected within the city across the multiple sources.


The solution will be marketed to the tourist industry and local retailers. Three initial pilot studies of CrowdInsights, two in the North of Italy (Como and Trento) and one in the Netherlands (Amsterdam), will be completed by the end of 2017. Afterwards, the solution will be expanded via a commercial launch.


Michele Vescovi, who leads the Innovation Activity said: "The stakeholders we’re working with continue to be amazed at the variety, detail and rich potential of the information produced by the solution. The power of CrowdInsights lies in its dynamic, stratified and multi-sided make-up, that is able to describe crowd behaviour from a wide set of perspectives.


"We hope to make data-driven governance and decision making at city level much easier and affordable and in the long term, to make such solutions something city stakeholders cannot do without."


CrowdInsights is one of the 11 Innovation Activities of the Digital Cities Action Line for 2017. This Action Line leverages the digital transformation of the cities through centralised, participative and collaborative interactions between government, city service providers, industry, and citizens. This transformation enables the deployment of disruptive information, mobility and safety services in the cities.


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